Classroom Chaos

Who would want to teach in a UK school today? [robot]. Channel Five documentary on Wednesday…

‘The way teachers’ authority has been eroded is key,’ she said. ‘It is not simply that there is no respect for teachers or authority but that the children are actually in control of the schools. They own them and the teachers have no power to take that control back.’

Thomas illustrates her point with an incident when a boy walked out of her class during a lesson. ‘If I tried to stop him leaving by taking his arm, it would have been his word against mine that I hadn’t abused him and I would be suspended while the incident was investigated, which could take three years. My name would be in the local press and my reputation as a teacher would be destroyed. The children are very worldly-wise: they know they have this power.’